News 13 will avoid showing corpses unless airing the picture significantly adds information to the story. We will avoid showing the corpses at times when children are watching television. This rule involves all local, national and international stories. If we do show corpses, then we must provide a warning before the story airs.
News 13 will not show or interview “grieving relatives” unless we have their permission, or if the video is shot in a public area. In the case of permission, we will state in the script we have received that permission to use the video.
News 13 will not show non-fatal stabbings and shootings or suicides unless they are unusual in nature; i.e., the person, the place or the circumstance. That decision must be made by the Senior Director of News or the News Director.
News 13 must offer the audience a chance to help solve crime. Therefore, when appropriate, crime stories will carry with them a police phone number or suspect description. A suspect description will only be used when specific identifying characteristics of the suspect are provided. Unusual clothing, visible scars, unusual hairstyles or colors, and type of vehicle all qualify as specific identifying characteristics. RACE MUST NEVER BE USED AS THE SOLE IDENTIFYING CHARACTERISTIC.
News 13 will cover murders; however, their placement in the show and the frequency of the story repeating depends upon the circumstances surrounding the murder. The number of persons involved, the circumstances surrounding the crime, and the location of the crime are all determining factors. We will avoid repeating a murder story past 12 hours unless we have updated information to provide on the crime.
News 13 will avoid reporting on arraignments, preliminary hearings and pre-trial motions unless a significant development takes place or a high profile crime is involved. We do need to track key cases and the desk will be aware of court dates.
News 13 will give special consideration whether to report the names of any suspects, whether they’re being questioned or have been named by police, unless the person has been arrested or formally charged with the crime. If the suspect has been arrested and not yet charged in court, we will consider whether to report the person’s name based on the circumstances surrounding the crime and the arrest.
News 13 will avoid reporting the names of juveniles, unless they have been charged with a crime as an adult. Depending on the severity of the crime, exceptions can be made. The final decision to air the name of a juvenile will be made by the Senior Director of News or the News Director.
News 13 will not use the name of, or identify, any victim of a sex crime, unless that person comes forward and wants to speak out and reveal themselves.
News 13 will refrain from showing live pictures of police SWAT and tactical teams during hostage standoffs. We will not attempt to contact a hostage-taker during an incident.
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